Who’s the expert? Yes, you

When starting a content program, many people find it hard to wrap their head around the idea that they have something interesting to contribute. Accepting that you have interesting insights you can provide to your audience is a great first step.

Have you ever been on LinkedIn or another professional networking platform, about to post and felt a fluttering in your heart? Squinted your eyes slightly, felt your breath catching as you clicked the post button?

Then, once posted, checked your post obsessively to see the reaction?

It’s familiar, and it happens to many of us.

The fact is, publishing your views can be a nerve-racking experience. Small business and corporate content writing awakens our imposter syndrome, triggers our risk-adverse side, sends us into a pit of anxiety.

Yet, it doesn’t have to be this way. Remember, you are an expert in your field, and you do have something worthwhile to say to your audience. You have the ability to become a thought leader – you just need some help in framing your thoughts.

Yes, you are interesting

One of the most common comments I get is ‘well I don’t have anything interesting to say’.

And my categorical answer is: that’s just not true. You’re in your job for a reason, and you have expertise and insight. That will be of interest to someone, somewhere.

People think they don’t have anything interesting to say because they feel their job is boring.

Think about me sitting here at my computer in my sweatpants, tapping away at the keys, watching as the cat tries to destroy my favourite pot plant. No, my day-to-day job is not glamorous either, yet I’m here providing you with some (hopefully useful) insights about small business and corporate content writing.

So, think about what you can offer. Who is your audience and what do they need to know? What are the biggest questions clients ask you? Have you read articles and thought you have something to add, or disagree entirely? Are you always clearing up misconceptions about your job?

Chasing the likes

There’s plenty of research around which shows the addictive nature of social media, in particular the dopamine hit that we get from engagement.

This is no different in our professional lives than it is in our personal lives – the amount of likes you get from that Facebook picture of your new puppy gives you the same buzz as that carefully-written nugget of insight you posted on LinkedIn.

Of course, likes and comments are important, as they’re ultimately the point of you doing all this work to build your personal and business brand.

However, they should not be an end in themselves, nor should lack of likes on any given post be an indicator of your popularity. If a post doesn’t get likes, it could be down to numerous reasons:

  • You don’t have enough contacts, or you’re not engaging enough with others
  • You haven’t been consistent, or given it enough time
  • You need to adjust what you’re saying or how you’re saying it slightly

Of course, evaluation is always important, so if something isn’t working over a decent period of time, then you should try to find out if there’s a reason what you’re saying isn’t resonating.

However, even that is not something that you should take to heart. People have very short attention spans in the digital age, and them not reading your personal post could be just a matter of how you’ve presented the information rather than a comment on how interesting you or your subject matter are.

Risks, fears and blockers

Writing a blog or posting on a professional social media platform brings up a lot of fear for people.

I always tell people to start by thinking about the risks. You can manage risk by keeping it positive, avoiding being negative or attacking others, and verifying all statistics and quotes, and being across the industry context. And if you work somewhere where there’s a social media policy, then of course follow this. The same goes if you work in an industry with regulatory considerations, such as pharmaceuticals.

However, once you reduce and rationalise these risks, then it’s easier to confront your real fears about posting on social media. These might be:

Fear of being ‘found out’ as a fraud?

Fear of being known?

Fear of what others think of you?

Fear of failure?

Whatever these fears are, being honest with yourself is a great starting point for moving forward and starting a successful content writing program with you as a thought leader.

Every day on social media there are millions of people putting their views out into the world. There’s no reason yours can’t be one of them.


Author: Alexandra Vanags

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